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Itchy bump on palm, hard bump on thumb. Family history of arthritis. What is this?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 93 Questions
I was vaccuuming and found an itchy spot on the palm area of my hand where the "M" crosses. It hurt to touch when I scratched it and a black and blue kind of bump XXXXXXX to the surface when I touched it. Strange things happening with my hands lately. I got a hard bump in my thumb and looked it up as some kind of possible arthritis (gamelion?)cyst by what I mom has them and has bad arthritis on her side but now what is this thing? Can't really see it or feel it but when pressure is applied it looks like a bulging bruise/vein in there. I am 48, going to be 49 in August, recently lost 85 lbs but still very heavy (right around 300) and otherwise no meds or pills. I am menopausal and had my last period 6 months ago and before that a year prior. Feeling physically better than I have in years. Exercise regularly and eating much much better. :)
Posted Fri, 16 Aug 2013 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Rene Gerard Cruz Galera Jr 1 hour later

Thank you for your question and welcome to our site.

Yes, it is quite possible that these are ganglion cysts. These usually occur on the palmar surface of the hand, the top of the wrist, the base of a finger, and the last joint of the finger. These occur in patients of all ages and the causes are still largely unknown although they are sometimes attributed to irritation or mechanical changes.

Just like in your case, they may or may not be painful. Although they don't spread to other areas, cysts may develop singly or more in just one area. One good test to know if these are really ganglion cysts is to get a flashlight and see if light passes through these cysts - if they do, they most likely are ganglion cysts.

I suggest that you consult a surgeon who may request an Xray of your hand to see if there are any underlying problems. Discuss with him the possible treatment options that are available to you - but be aware that if these are indeed ganglion cysts, they are likely to recur.

On another note, I am very happy that you were able to lose 85lbs! This is an amazing achievement and I do hope that you can lose even more through proper diet and exercise. It will really matter in the long run especially for many chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension. Moreso, losing weight is much easier that maintaining your weight so I pose this as a good challenge for you too. I know you can do it!

If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask me here. You know how to reach me. Otherwise, you may opt to close this discussion and rate the answer.

I wish you good health!

Take care!

Dr. Galera
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